New Year’s Self Reflection: How to Measure Your Achievements in Different Areas?

New Year’s Self Reflection: How to Measure Your Achievements in Different Areas?

The turn of the year is typically associated with self reflection. People often use social media to share their greatest experiences, successes from their personal or professional life and any positives they have achieved in the past year. It can be quite easy to assume that, compared to others, your year was actually quite boring and nothing significant occurred. However, often you completely forget the key moments that happened, for example, six months ago. After all, it happened so long ago…

In today’s article, we have prepared a simple guide to help you reflect on the past year. You will see that it contains many positives that are worth mentioning.

Why it makes sense to self reflect?

During your childhood, you were accustomed to being evaluated by your family and peers. At school, it was grades, at home it was praise or reprimands from your parents. Even in adulthood, you often go through such evaluations without even realising it. At work, your performance is judged by your superiors; on social media, you can be judged by likes or comments. Even at home, you can tell from the behaviour of other family members whether they are happy or whether something is missing. Thanks to these evaluations, you can see where you stand in certain areas.

Okay, so how do you figure out how you’re doing for yourself? It’s nice to please the boss or your family. Equally important, though, is to be happy with yourself. And that’s what self reflection can help with. Through it, you are able to recognise the achievements that you have made that are important to you so that you can be proud of yourself. But there is another side to self reflection. It reveals your shortcomings. It also helps to clarify the areas to work on in the coming year.

7 tips to help you to reflect on the past year

It can be quite difficult to remember all that has happened during the year. Often you can’t even remember what you had for lunch yesterday, let alone what happened six months ago. That’s why we have some effective methods to help you self reflect on the past year and maybe even discover forgotten achievements or memories.

1. Remind yourself of your resolutions and aspirations

If you write down your New Year’s resolutions at the end of each year, there’s nothing easier than looking back at them and seeing what was on the list. You may have written down a few items, but then managed to forget about them during the year, so you don’t even know if you have accomplished everything. If you did, you can pat yourself on the back and be proud of yourself. If not, it doesn’t mean you have failed. People change throughout the year and so can their priorities. What can this look like?

  • Your goal was to start going to the gym regularly and lose 5 kg.

But in the end, it could just be that you’ve started going to the gym and exercising regularly. After some time, you find that the scale still shows the same weight, but the body has firmed up, shaped up and looks better overall. Even if the original goal was to lose weight, you may be satisfied with the path you have been down without reaching your original goal. This is perfectly fine and can be considered a success. This is why you shouldn’t take the goal you set so literally. Rather, recall the thought that led you to set a specific goal. What was the real reason that you wanted to lose weight? Maybe it was the desire to feel better in your own body. And that’s certainly something you can achieve with regular exercise.

If you’ve set yourself a goal for next year that involves regular exercise, our article 10 Tips for Fitness Beginners for Fast and Sustainable Results can help.

Once you’ve started, you need to hang in there. Our article 5 Tips to Stay Active, Stay Motivated and Keep Exercising at Home will help you stay motivated.

Remind yourself of your resolutions and desires

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2. Look over your vision board

Many people don’t make resolutions, but choose another, slightly more creative option, and that is to use a vision board. This is a goal or dream board that works on the principle of the law of attraction, which means that it is easier to attract positive things into your life if you visualise them on the board. This is most likely because you work on them more when they are always in your sight.

If you already created a dream board last year, you can easily see if your desires have come true. Since these boards are often more abstract, you can determine for yourself what each image signifies in your current situation and if it reflects your actual life. If not, feel free to pick out some snippets to use for the year ahead. For example, it could be a picture of your favourite handbag that you still don’t own.

How to make your own vision board? 

You don’t need a 2×2 metre cork board to create your own vision board. A3 or A4 size paper will do, where you can attach your desired wishes. They don’t even have to be specific dreams. They can be abstract feelings, a photo of a beach, an airplane or anything you can think of. For example, there is so much inspiration on Pinterest for creating a vision board that matches your personality. You can even frame your vision board and hang it up to keep it in your sight at all times. Or if you don’t like cutting or pasting, you can make an electronic version to put as a wallpaper on your computer or phone. Graphic editors or apps can help you do this.

If visualisation doesn’t help you achieve your goal, you can try other tips from our article How to Stay Keep New Year’s Resolutions and Meet Your Goals.

How to make your own vision board?

3. Browse through your photos and videos on your phone

So you didn’t make a list of resolutions or a vision board a year ago? That’s okay. Even so, you can easily assess how much you’ve progressed in the past year. Your phone can help you do that. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and scroll through your photos and videos from the past year. Write down interesting situations you’ve captured so you have them written down in black and white.

You may discover photos from that long weekend you enjoyed to the max. You may also find a picture of your favourite coffee, which you had as a reward for passing that exam. In short, the individual photos will help you to remember the important moments in your life. You may find that you weren’t actually bored at all. You’ve explored new places, spent lots of great times with friends, conquered exams at school, improved your food portions or changed your style to look your very best.

Photos and videos can be a great way to reawaken your memories and take a closer look at what has happened over the year gone by. 

Go through your photos and videos on your phone and reflect on your year

4. Go back through your diary or journal

Are you not one of those people who take pictures of everything and your phone album is empty? Then it’s quite possible that you prefer to write your memories down. Because often photos don’t reflect reality. And the fact that you’re smiling in it doesn’t mean you were actually happy at the time. Try keeping a diary in which you write down your feelings, experiences, wishes, affirmations and so on. When you read through your older entries, you can piece together the story of your past year in retrospect. This will allow you to evaluate how successful it was for you. Similarly, the entries in your diary can help you recall key events.

If you like to write down your memories, a multi-year diary can be a great help. It gives you the opportunity to write notes for consecutive years. This is the ideal way to see how you’ve moved on. As you write about the current year, it can be heart warming to see how your priorities have changed.

Go through your diary or journal and reflect on your year

5. Use apps

Are you a fan of apps and have an app for every activity? Then use them to reflect on your past year. In case you use them regularly, they can be a great tool to assess how successful and capable you have been across different areas.

  • Concentration app helps you discover how productive you’ve been while working. For example, if you’ve managed to accumulate a certain number of extra points in the Forest app, you’ll even be rewarded with a real tree being planted for your concentration efforts.
  • Sports app – if you track all your workouts, you can look back at how active you were during the year, how many times you exercised and how your performance has improved.
  • Language learning app – if you’ve paid for a membership to a language learning app, that’s a great step in itself. You’ve invested money in yourself. And when you look back at how many minutes you’ve spent learning and how many lessons you’ve mastered over the past year, you can pat yourself on the back, you’re definitely farther along than you were when you started.
  • Listening apps – it may have also jumped out at you at the end of the year in your listening apps how much time you spent listening to music or podcasts. But it certainly doesn’t mean it was wasted time, quite the opposite. If you listen to different news podcasts or interesting interviews, for example, it can be a great way to keep yourself up to date and learn new information. If you know that this is the case, you can think of the thousands of minutes of listening as time you’ve dedicated to your development and broadening your horizons.
  • Investment apps – if you’re concerned about your finances and put money aside each month for investment apps, you can take a look at your annual balance. In case you are focused on long-term investments, you may not be shocked to find that you are in the red for the past year. Praise yourself for being able to think about your finances and set aside a portion of your salary for these purposes.
  • Health apps – depending on which smart device you use, you can measure different aspects of your life and then compare data. In this respect, you don’t just have to deal with performance. You can track how stress levels or your sleep has changed over the past year. If you’ve been able to minimise stress and improve the quality of your downtime, that’s great progress that definitely shouldn’t be forgotten.
  • Mobile banking apps – you don’t have to be a millionaire to use banking apps to measure your success. It depends on what your goal is. For some, being able to save a set amount may be a positive. Another may celebrate that they managed to spend their savings on an item they had been saving for a long time. Banking apps are often able to show you in pie charts which area you have spent the most in. You can also gauge the success of your year accordingly. For example, if you love to travel, it’s absolutely fitting that the largest amounts went to airlines or travel agents. Therefore, you must evaluate your spending individually in the context of your life and goals.
Help yourself with self review applications

6. Get advice from others 

At the beginning we stated that everyone should evaluate their own life. But if you are unable to recall what you have succeeded in, ask your loved ones. Your family or friends will be able to point out some of your achievements. They may even be able to appreciate qualities that you may not even be aware of or take for granted.

7. Be aware of your feelings

Maybe you don’t have a ton of travel experiences, you haven’t saved up for a new car, and you haven’t progressed in sport the way you wanted to. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should feel bad about yourself. It’s quite possible that your priorities have simply changed during the year and you’re already setting your sights on something entirely different.

However, the situation can also be reversed. You may have achieved everything you dreamed of, but still no sign of the euphoria and sense of fulfilment you expected. It doesn’t mean that your goals are not worthy. It’s quite possible that the actual process of reaching your goals, which has brought about feelings of happiness over the course of the year, has satisfied you much more in the end. Not only that, but it may have served its purpose long ago.

If you’re wondering about how goal achievement should not Iook like, don’t miss our article on the 10 Worst Ways to Start a New Year’s Resolution.

Be mindful of your feelings when reflecting

What should you remember?

Evaluating how successful the past year has been can be a tough task. But if you help yourself with photos, notes or apps, it’s much easier. You can also consult your list of last year’s resolutions or check out your vision board. But always keep in mind that a person can change even in the course of just a year. Goals that were important to you last year may no longer be relevant to you at all. That’s perfectly fine and doesn’t mean you’ve been unsuccessful. In the final analysis, you may well find that the journey to your goal has brought you something completely different than you expected, and it’s much more rewarding in the end.

Do you have any friends who believe they haven’t moved on in the past year? Share this article with them to help them see what they’ve accomplished without even realising it. 

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